Indian C-17 Maintainers Train at Charleston

Maintenance instructors at JB Charleston, S.C., are educating the initial cadre of Indian air force maintainers to operate the C-17 transport before delivery of India’s first C-17s next year. “We are learning the basics of the aircraft as well as the technical manual,” said IAF student Junior Warrant Officer Prakash Chand in a Nov. 8 Charleston release. India ordered 10 C-17s to replace its elderly fleet of IL-76 airlifters. Boeing plans to deliver the first of these airframes next year and complete the order in 2014, company officials have said. In the meantime, the 373rd Training Squadron Det. 5 that oversees C-17 training at Charleston is teaching about 100 Indian airmen every aspect of the new airlifter’s use. “These Indian airmen are going to be the ones standing up the initial C-17 unit,” explained TSgt. Paul Higgins, instructor with the detachment. The first students were scheduled to graduate this month, according to the release. (Charleston report by SrA. William O’Brien)